During these unprecedented times, many are finding it hard to cope. Coronavirus struck almost one year ago, yet shops are still closed, infection rates are still at an all-time high, and many of our friends and relatives are still on furlough. Those who are more fortunate than others, still being able to work despite the current pandemic could be in a position to help others. As a business being in a similar situation, with the utilities industry not slowing despite COVID-19, we think it is of the utmost importance to think of others and give to those in need.
Each Christmas, Sapphire Utility Solutions would usually pay for food or drinks for their staff members, however this year our staff have committed to support others in our communities. We pride ourselves in giving back to the community and therefore this year, we have decided to donate to local food banks and have set a target of raising £30,000 to support these essential causes this Christmas.
Michael Patel, Managing director for Sapphire Utility Solutions said “At Sapphire, we want to make a difference and play our part in supporting the communities in which we work and live. To achieve this aim, I have set a target of raising £30,000 between now and Christmas Day, to provide essential items for food banks in our local communities. If our staff, clients and partners are able to raise such an amount, Sapphire will double it.”
Many of our hard-working staff members already support charities in their spare time, so rather than pick the most popular charities within Lancashire, we decided to pick charities which were already dear to our hearts. The three food banks, which we are supporting are: Preston community hub, Noor food bank and Andover food bank.
Foodbank at Preston Community Hub, based on Samuel Street are a charitable organisation who give out food to those who are receiving benefits for a small donation of £1. They also recently launched a shoebox appeal, receiving donations of Christmas presents, which will be distributed to children aged 0 – 14 years at Christmas time, for families who are on benefits.
Shanaz Patel, Payroll & Accounts Assistant for Sapphire Utility Solutions said “ It was my mum who found this charity. I went with her to donate some unused gifts to the wonderful people at Foodbank at Preston Community Hub for their Christmas gift collection. Honestly, I left crying. It was the first time I have personally seen what they are doing and they do an amazing job! They really are a fantastic group of people. We don’t realise how privileged we really are until we see things like this first hand.”
Noor Food Bank is a non-profit organisation working against food poverty within Preston, while also reducing food waste. They have supported 17,000 people, distributed 35,000 meals and currently have 30 dedicated volunteers. Those who received help from the charity in a time of need said, “This is a great charity that does valuable work in the community.”
Imtiaz Master, Quantity Surveyor for Sapphire Utility Solutions and volunteer for Noor Food Bank said “I started volunteering for Noor Food Bank as felt I needed to support those in need and give back to the local community. We are all one and everyone needs support from each other. Previously from doing some charity work, I discovered how many families go hungry in the UK, I was in a bubble until I started helping at Noor Food Bank.”
Andover Food Bank supports local people who have been referred to them when in crisis. They are working towards combatting poverty and hunger across the UK, with each referred person receiving three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced emergency food. Andover food bank opened in 2006 and have since fed 4,300 people each year. “Every year the foodbank gives Christmas hampers to families and individuals who are struggling. These hampers make an enormous difference to the festive season, helping alleviate the many financial pressures and allowing people to celebrate the season rather than exist through it.”
We are reaching out to supply chains, retailers, customers and staff, as well as giving a donation on behalf of Sapphire Utility Solutions. If you can spare some money to help our local communities this Christmas, you can donate online here or email SUSfoodbank@sus.co.uk
A little goes a long way for someone in need.